Covid 19 has brought destruction to the educational system leaving school children, and parents, at home with nothing to do. However help is at hand, Earthgames.uk have launched a whole system of learning based around creating games. Students between 6 to 11 can explore conservation issues by creating board games and online computer games. Gabriel Kyne, the founder, said “ Creating these sorts of games is just one of the most engaging ways for students to learn maths, art, science and more”.
The initiative has been created by the charities Makingpi and Buglife. At the heart of the project is a competition to create the best insect game (see link). There are loads of prizes valuing more than £1000 for students donated by Ecotricity and other businesses. “We are so excited to see the creations that the young people of Gloucestershire come up with” Said Paul Hetherington Director of Buglife
Earthgames has created a number of webinars, workshops, online lessons and resources to holistically teach children how to develop ecological games. Some may choose to learn coding to construct a Scratch game which will give them invaluable computer skills. Others may choose to create their own board game which can provide them with planning, rule making, maths and science skills that are all part of the primary curriculum.
In Gloucestershire there is a real desire to raise our children with an understanding of nature.. This is why the children have to base their game around one of three insect-focused topics: Hover flies, Dung beetles or May flies. Learning and gathering information on these subjects will provide children with a deeper understanding of these creatures and how they help us.
This project has been built on the success of the hedgehog survival game which was trialled in Stroud schools last year. The children who took part in it gave it a really high score for teaching and engagement. Earthgames.uk have a mission to bring in as much ecological learning as possible to the primary curriculum. This approach seems perfect for the time of Covid 19 as it teaches really difficult skills in a fun way without the need of a classroom.
The teaching and competition formally starts on Friday the 7th May. However there is no reason not to start early by visiting earthgames.uk and registering. There will be prizes in many different categories ranging from artwork to coding – so everyone has a chance of winning.